Self Love vs Self Care, why you need BOTH.
Human existence can have so many ups and downs.
Many of the elements of life that can affect us reside outside of our control, especially when it comes to relationships and interactions with other people.
I find it great comfort to know that one thing I surely have full choice in is my relationship to myself.
With a compassionate understanding of myself through every change, every beauty, and every hardship.
Knowing who I am, this allows me to move more gracefully in the world and be a unique embodiment that is of benefit to all that interact.
Upon observation, it becomes apparent that this kind of mentality has not been naturally cultivated or valued in the society that we currently find ourselves,
However, it is also refreshing to observe that there is a growing culture of intentional self-love and self-care which is emerging as the consciousness of our planet shifts to a higher vibration.
Why Do You Need To Practice Both Self Love And Self Care?
Self-love and self-care are not the same but they most certainly inextricably interconnected.
These practices are both essential as they nurture and strengthen your most important relationship, your relationship to yourself, which is what sets the tone for all of your experiences in life.
Through the following writing, we will delve deeper into this topic gaining a fuller understanding of what self-love and self-care actually are.
We'll also look at why it is essential to do both and of course some valuable details on the ways you can go about embracing these values into your life
Self Love vs. Self Care: Key differences
The concept and practice of self-love centers around cultivating your feelings towards yourself.
Self Love is all about how you feel about yourself; it is the internal experience of loving yourself as best as you can.
This is something that comes naturally for some but not always. As mystical and seemingly spontaneous as the powerful feeling of love is, it can most definitely also be seen as a choice.
Love, encompassing various interlinked emotional facets such as trust, integrity, compassion, and understanding.
We consciously choose to keep on loving and this most definitely applies to self-love, we must choose to love ourselves over and over again.
Self-love is parallel to self-worth which is how we feel about our value, this is constructed via conscious and subconscious beliefs that we have accumulated through life.
The concept of self-love is also encompassing of self-compassion.
As we all know there are moments in life where it is more challenging to hold the ideal state of love and happiness.
In these moments it is self-compassion which will see us through the turbulent internal states.
These experiences of contrast and duality can be viewed as lessons or opportunities to deepen our awareness of self-love.
Self-care is usually rooted in actions or intentional activities.
It can take the form of leisurely luxury activities or even getting simple daily tasks completed to ensure your survival, thriving comfort, and progress.
Self-care is a method to express self-love. It is the expression of the love and worthiness you hold for yourself through intentional actions.
Essentially, self-care can be anything that you do for yourself that is of benefit, an act of dedication towards your wellbeing.
Only you will truly know how best to care for yourself as each of our preferences are beautifully unique.
The Journey Of Embracing Self Love And Self Care
Cultural conditioning surrounding Self Care and Self Love.
There is often some stigmas that we hold surrounding the value of both self-care and self-love.
You may have these ideas projects onto you by unconscious others or they may be showing up internally through subconscious patterns.
Examples of these false beliefs which can block or limit healthy self-love and self-care include:
- Assuming that prioritizing yourself is selfish
- Assuming that self-care needs to look a certain way or
- Self-care cost a lot of money to be valuable and effective.
I mention these because the journey to cultivating self-love and practicing self-care starts by dissolving illusions and with getting clear on the value of this energy being in balance within you.
It is actually essential for a healthy happy human existence that we all deserve to experience both self-love and self-care.
Many of the stigmas are deeply ingrained in us through societal expectations but when we take the time to decondition our thinking and consider the truth of the matter, we can only fully show up in the world from a place of love, being of benefit and fulfilling purpose if we are filled and aligned.
Investing time to cultivate self-love and practice self-care has a win-win-win effect.
You are benefited, all those surrounding you are benefited and the world at large is blessed with your energy in integrity.
The next section of this article will provide tips on how to future integrate these concepts into your life.
Self Love tips
Exploring your subconscious patterns
Become aware of your long-standing beliefs surrounding self-love and try to determine which of these beliefs are beneficial.
Which of these beliefs ring true and which have been inherited? Release the stories and beliefs surrounding self-love which no longer serve your highest potential.
Some suggestions of how you can work through this process of identifying and releasing are by utilizing mindfulness practices such as
Learn your love languages
The references to love languages are based on a book written by Gary Chapman, which was originally intended to improve communication and refine the expression of love between partners.
The content is most definitely also applicable and valuable to self-love, your relationship with you.
This book takes into consideration that we are each unique in the ways we prefer to receive love and it outlines 5 basic love languages that can be explored further.
It can be helpful to identify which of these you resonate with most to learn how you can communicate love to yourself in a way that your mind, body, and spirit will fully receive and appreciate.
The 5 languages are
- Physical touch
- Words of affirmation
- Quality time
- Acts of service
The love languages can inform your intentional actions of self-care. If this interests you, you can find more details on each of these in the book titled The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Patience and understanding
Self-love is not an ultimate destination but rather an ongoing adventure, It is vital to show up for yourself with patience and understanding through this process.
You have only yourself to answer to and so why not grant yourself complete patience and understanding in the spirit of love.
This will communicate to yourself how dedicated you are. In a currently highly conditional world, self-love and self-care can offer nourishing unconditional solace and safety.
Keep promises to yourself
Another way to cultivate a strong sense of self-love is to honor yourself completely by keeping your promises and seeing through the commits you make to yourself.
Promises of things you would like to achieve for yourself or boundaries you have decided upon, uphold the standard you have set for yourself to experience the dedication of love.
Appreciate your uniqueness
Take the time to get to know who you are and embrace your unique ways of being.
We each have a unique energy signature; this energy will feel vital and lively when you completely embrace yourself as you are.
You know that magnetic feeling of being in the presence of a charismatic, confident, and grounded person, you can step into this feeling by fully appreciating your unique strengths and stepping into your power and inspiration.
Drop all forms of comparison to others, focus on who you are, identify and appreciate all the little details of your being, your mannerisms, voice, imagination, intentions, heart, body, and spirit.
You can still love and appreciate yourself completely while still consciously acknowledging where growth needs to happen, it is much easier to heal, grow, and thrive from a state of self-love and appreciation.
If you want to know more about self-love, specifically about some activities you can practice then check out this other article:
11 Self-Love Activities That Can Change Your Life
If you're a man you may find this article helpful:
How To Practice Self-Love As A Man
Self Care Tips
One of the key elements that you need to care for regularly is the physical body of course.
The incredibly complex and intricate physical body is what houses our consciousness, allowing us the privilege to experience the various sensations of being a human.
It is also important to know that your physical body is part of a larger etheric part of you, known as the energy body or auric field.
The health of both the energetic and physical aspects of the body will affect your quality of life.
You can intentionally choose to take better care of both your physical and energy body through seriously considering and implementing the following:
- High vibrational vital and nutritious eating habits,
- Drinking plenty of clean water,
- Getting enough physical exercise to keep your muscles/tendons strong and flexible,
- Getting your blood flowing and hormone systems in balance,
- Meditation/breathwork practices to energetically and align and generally learning to be more present in your body.
You should also take extra care if you have any particular health challenges that need attending to, take the time to seek the help of a holistic healer to assist you with bringing your body into balance.
Honor your body in every way you can showing yourself the care you truly deserve.
You can also care for your body by enjoying sensory pleasures such as good quality body products and expressively adorning yourself with clothing and jewels that make you feel your best.
The state of your mind influences your entire perception of reality as well as your approach and response to every experience you have.
Time spent on caring for your mind is invaluable. You can care for your mind by getting to know how your thought patterns operate and learning to more consciously choose and pattern these thoughts to your benefit.
This form of self-care is an active healing journey as we compassionately sift through our existing conditioning.
It is an empowering form of self-care to educate yourself on the workings of the brain, the subconscious, and the conscious mind and how our thoughts affect our reality.
Keep your mind active and juicy with beneficial information through actively learning new skills and consciously consuming content.
Introduce mindfulness practices and meditation to get deeply in touch with and learn to align your state of mind.
Taking care of the space which you live in is also a form of self-care, creating a personal outer environment that you feel safe and comfortable in.
This can take the form of seemingly mundane tasks but I like to take a higher perspective on these simple activities, finding the sacred in the everyday:
- Consider that deep cleaning
- Tidying, doing you laundry
- Folding your clothes beautifully and
- Having clean dishes could all be acts of self-care when done intentionally with love and respect for your space and yourself.
When you have access to the resources to do so you can also take some time and effort to beautify your home in the ways you like and create an ambient environment of sensory pleasure by considering art, lighting, and scents.
You can even create an altar in your home to welcome particular energies.
All these elements contribute to the energy and feeling of the space and are an embodied form of self-care and appreciation reflected in the environment that surrounds you.
This form of self-care can extend beyond your personal home space but also be applied accordingly if possible to your workspace or even your vehicle.
Taking care of your needs
This might seem obvious or like its more about survival than self-care but I refer back to our ability to intentionally choose a perspective.
You can choose to view your job as a blessing that allows you to care for yourself; you can choose to experience cooking dinner as a ceremony of nourishment.
Of course, this is an ideal mind state that is not always easy to uphold but as you consciously invite this perspective in you will see how it becomes your natural state more often than not.
Celebrate and thank yourself for the simplest things that you do, even if it was something you had to do, you can still thank yourself for caring enough to get it done every day.
At times you may need to be more patient and gracious with yourself as your needs/responsibilities change throughout life, stay in integrity and gratitude doing the best you can in the present moment.
This is a simple but great act of self-care.
Setting aside time for things that make you happy
It is an act of self-care to set aside time for the activities and hobbies that truly bring you joy and fulfillment.
These activities do not necessarily need to be productivity or outcome-based but it is simply about setting aside the time for you to do what you love.
If that is working on your passion project then great but it can also be relaxing and reading a novel, watching a good film, going dancing, taking a leisurely walk in the park, playing a video game, or even having a long nap just because you can.
Here's an article you may like on simple things in life that bring you happiness and pleasure: 21 Simple Pleasures To Make You Stop And Appreciate Life
This is about taking the time to indulge in you, in the present.
This kind of action of self-care helps with relaxation and also communicates to yourself that you are worthy of and acknowledging your desires.
This cultivates an energy frequency and emotion which reflects into your life to attract more of what you truly desire.
When you take this time for you, try to do so unapologetically and confidently enjoy every moment that you deserve.
Doing so with full conscious intent you can never really love yourself or care for yourself too much, your life is yours to enjoy and when you treat yourself sacredly you will attract this energy into your life in all mirrored forms and experiences.
The above are just a few of the tips that you can consider on your journey of self-love and self-care.
As always, only integrate what resonates most with you.
Honestly, one of the amazing things about self-love and self-care is there are endless and intricate ways you can nurture them.
I hope you enjoy using these ideas to inspire you!
❤️ If you like this article you may like one of these articles as well, check them out:
- 42 Powerful Journal Prompts For Cultivating Self Love
- 9 Ways to Practice Self-love and Acceptance
- The BEST Crystals To Help Cultivate SELF LOVE
Yasmin is a freelance creative, working through the mediums of fine art and writing. She loves deeply exploring themes related to the natural world, the metaphysical world, concepts and embodiments of spirituality as well as esoteric contemplations. An overview of some of her work can be viewed at https://www.instagram.com/faeiirie/